Thursday, May 13, 2010
Meet Salted Caramel Cupcake. She is my new best friend...my new lover...my new drug. Her soft white belly with perfectly moist crumb can just barely withstand the weight of the rich caramel frosting, but that doesn't matter to me at all. Because after my first bite, I'm pretty sure that I lost consciousness for awhile. When I came to, I devoured the rest of her greedily (well, okay, I shared one bite with my true love...).
She makes you lose your manners. I felt like I was a fox in dinner scene from Fantastic Mr. Fox. So civilized....and yet 100% animal, eating with two paws, crumbs flying, snarling lips. I'd think twice before serving these at a dinner party. It might get chaotic and unruly, especially if alcohol is involved. No, really you should save these for yourself....try them with tea, or coffee, or a glass of milk....or an after dinner drink. But be warned. One taste is never enough. She keeps you coming back for more....
Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Oh my goodness, these are good. Frost sparingly, and while the frosting is still hot, as it sets quickly and is quite heavy. Maldon salt is best for sprinkling over the tops. It can be found online or at many specialty grocers (like Whole Foods). If you don't have cake flour, all purpose flour can be substituted. After measuring, remove 4 tablespoons of flour and replace with 4 tablespoons of corn starch.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of buttermilk, well shaken
1 stick of butter
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup whole milk
5 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners, or spray liberally with cooking spray.
2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
3. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Add sugar and beat until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.
4. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from muffin tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. Make frosting. In a large saucepan melt the stick of butter with the brown sugar over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Bring mixture to a boil (will take about 2 minutes), then add the milk. Remove from heat when it returns to a boil and whisk in vanilla and then the powdered sugar, cup by cup. Frosting will be quite thick.
7. If desired, spoon warm frosting into a piping bag (or ziplock bag with the corner snipped) and pipe frosting over cupcakes, sprinkling salt over each one immediately after it is frosted. Alternately, frosting can be spread on top of the cupcakes with a knife. Frosting will harden quickly, so you need to work fast. Cool and serve.